FeedForward: 2nd place for “Most Innovative Project”

I arrived at the JISC Repositories and Preservation programme meeting to find out that FeedForward had been voted 2nd in a competition for the title of “Most Innovative Project”. Nice!

Anyway, I had to improvise a “poster” and demo in the corridor by the coffee machine. Thankfully Dave Flanders was on hand with a room full of big pens and flipchart paper for me to borrow:


FeedForward posters

Feedforward at IMS

Yesterday I was at the IMS summit in Birmingham, and we had a 15 minute slot to show off how SWORD works using FeedForward and Intralibrary. I’m glad to report it all went very smoothly. I demoed creating a new conduit using the SWORD wizard, and then dragging over a context with some posts in it, entering a comment and tags, and then off it went. Sarah Currier of Intrallect then showed how the posts had been published in Intralibrary as an IMS Content Package.

The nice thing about this demo is that concepts like “SWORD” and “IMS Content Packaging” are completely invisible to the user.

(Image by Mudeth, CC-BY)

Team FeedForward finalists in the OR2008 Repository Challenge!

Kris and I were in Southampton this week taking part in the Repository Challenge at Open Repositories 2008. This was a developer competition of the “bar camp” variety, where we had to rapidly come up with a cool prototype showing the “future of repositories”.

Well, as we already have lots of stuff we can use in FeedForward, we wrote a prototype called “FileBlast”, which links together the services we use in FeedForward to make a single “share and promote your paper” droplet-style app.


We used a single droplet window as the target for dropping Word documents onto; we then extracted the title and abstract before uploading the document to Scribd. Once on Scribd, we then post an announcement on the user’s Twitter blog linking to the new doc, and a more detailed post on their WordPress blog with the paper abstract. We then bookmark it on Del.icio.us before finally archiving the paper in ePrints using SWORD.

Sadly the last part we couldn’t demo as, ironically, the Southampton wireless network blocked the port we needed to use to deposit items into the ePrints test server… at Southampton. Oh well! We nevertheless secured a place in the final five out of I think 19 entrants in the competition. I’d had no idea that our initial pitch to the judges would be filmed and broadcast at the conference dinner, which was a bit of a surprise. Kris had to bail out and head home earlier, and unlike me avoided the slightly embarassing prospect of having to sit looking at himself on the big screen.

Still, we were well happy with the result of our day (and night) of coding and so we’re thinking of turning it into a proper app for download off our site. But we have quite a few parts for M2 of FeedForward to finish up first!

The whole event was great fun, and a big thanks to Dave Flanders and the CRIG team for making it happen.